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Java Coffee House

Also known as: Now occupied by ‘ascolour’ clothing store, part of the Soul Quarter / Stranges Lane block.

Location: 219 High Street, Central Christchurch

Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake, replaced by commercial buildings

Active as a live music venue: 1990’s – 2000’s

Bar Manager: –


Capacity: –

All-Ages: Yes

Open-plan two-story Cafe on a (previously) busy corner in central Christchurch – Java was a quirky place with a colorful interior, good coffee and food. When Cafe’s were starting to explode in the late 90’s, Java was one of the places to be for young people in Christchurch.

As a result they pumped a lot of good music and put on the occasional live show, with a handful of musicians working behind the counter over the years. Java was also heavily tied to local dance music, promoting locals raves alongside the original Cosmic Corner (which was just down High Street).

Java Coffee House Interior - [Late 1990s]
Java Coffee House Interior

Strange was a draper.
Strange’s complex was in business 1860s-1930s. The corner building was built in 1900 to an Italianate design by architectural firm Armson, Collins & Harman.

Some original features on the façade survived into the 21st century.
Absentee owners in the 1930s meant the firm was not run properly and the business was closed.
It was a category 1 building with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Demolished after the earthquakes of 2010/2011.

Christchurch City Libraries

The Cafe was heavily damaged in the February 2011 Earthquake and eventually demolished, now replaced by a commercial building next to Strangers Lane.


1900: Corner building is built for William Strange (and is known as ‘Stranges Building’, becomes ‘Welkut Clothing’ at some point.

1990s: Java Coffeee House Opens.

2011: Damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes, Demolished in July 2011.

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4 thoughts on “Java Coffee House”

  1. I heard it had been, worked in that cafe for years so got to hear alot of the building’s history.. not long b4 java opened it had been a record shop 6m-to a year sure my mate (chch born) said it had been different shops over the years and did mention clothes store,said also repair clothes..

  2. My last Year in Christchurch doing the Antarctic Program 2003. I was introduced to the Java Cafe upon my first Year visiting Christchurch 1995. This place still today 2022, is embedded in my head with those most delicious Latte’s & that amazing Bagel with Canadian bacon, cream cheese, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and avocado- Mmmm, Mmmm- was nothing but deliciousness. Very sad to hear they are closed, wish there was such a place in Colorado Springs. I’m certain Christchurch community and all those who supported The Java Cafe dearly misses your Cafe.

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